2022 Honda Passport TrailSport takes first step to a more rugged future

·3 min read

Honda's TrailSport era begins here, with the refreshed 2022 Passport. TrailSport, remember, is the new off-road focused trim that's Honda both taking advantage of prevailing currents and asking the room, "Have you forgotten who we are and what we can do?" With the current lineup going Sport, EX-L, Touring, and Elite, we believe the rugged player will slot below the Elite. Honda didn't mention Sport or Touring in its press release, so we'll see if there are changes in store for the trim steps.

Eventually, the trim will turn into a range of hardcore factory-fitted and aftermarket equipment. For now, the Passport puts on a Ridgeline-like makeover to make itself more appealing to the mountain hike and bike set. The TrailSport's front fascia is straight off the pickup, the grille in these first images a riff on the grille that comes on a Ridgeline equipped with HPD Package. We're inclined to think this will be the standard grille on the Passport TrailSport. An HPD package is on the way for the crossover, but that will come with the expected black fender flares and HPD graphics. Honda says there's a "pronounced power bulge" on the hood, but either these photos have flattened the bulge, or the bulge is merely pronounced differently than the bulges on the current Passport hood. For Passport connoisseurs, the accent bar connecting the headlights will be finished in chrome on the EX-L trim, gloss black on TrailSport and Elite. In addition to wearing new orange trim identifier, the Passport Trailsport gets gloss black badging instead of chrome.

The rear fits a new, more sculpted bumper with larger dual exhaust finishers, and a painted representation of a skid plate to match the front end. A more useful backwoods features is the heated seating area for the windshield wipers.

All Passports continue with the 3.5-liter V6 putting out 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque shifting through a nine-speed automatic. The Trailsport comes standard with torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, as does the Elite, both gaining the extra 0.6 inch of ground clearance the system provides. The TrailSport's track's been widened by 10 millimeters, too. Honda designed new wheels for all trims; all Passports now sit on 20-inchers, the EX-L and Elite getting new designs in this size. The TrailSport unique hoops will be two inches smaller and adorned with Pewter-painted highlights, shod in uniquely sized 245/60 rubber with a sidewall tread motif.

Inside, the orange theme shows itself in orange cross-stitching, TrailSport logos embroidered in the headrests, more logos on the standard all-season floor mats, and orange ambient lighting for the overhead console, cupholders, door pockets, and footwells. The EX-L trim gets its own high-contrast stitching holding together perforated leather seats, and all trims receive a new gauge cluster with white needles spinning on gray backgrounds. On the TrailSport, the gauges are ringed in black chrome. Finally, all Passports get two new safety features, Rear Seatbelt Reminder chiming to let a driver know second-row passengers haven't buckled up, and Rear Seat Reminder chiming when the vehicle is turned off to encourage a look aft before getting out.

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